Your site is so great, it makes researching the business sooo much easier having all the info in one place! thankyou thankyou thankyou.
Amada, aspiring actress, Sydney, Australia
Just wanted to say that this site is FANTASTIC! It's helped me quite a bit and it's now my #1 bookmarked item, which means I'm going to be visiting here regularly :) Thanks again,
Rob, aspiring actor, Canada
I absolutely love your site - it's SOOOO helpful and very impressive!
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Wow Tony! I would just like to comment on how much you have affected my life.
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Laura Doukas, Actress
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Marsha P., New York, NY, USA
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Lauren, actress, Atlanta, GA
The Business Of Casting Breakdowns
by Thom Goff of Breakdown Services, Ltd.
Thom Goff is a former actor and manager of his own theatre company. He began working for Breakdown Services, Ltd in 1989 and later took over as head of the NY office. Today Thom is the Director of Breakdown Services, Ltd New York.
I asked Thom some questions about casting breakdowns and the company he works for, Breakdown Services Ltd. and the services that it offers to actors, casting directors and agents alike. His answers are summarized in the following article.
So What is Breakdown Services?
Breakdown Services was started up by Gary Marsh to provide talent agents and managers with standardized character descriptions for projects that were being cast. It started in LA then came to NY in the late 1970s. We are the only company that breaks down scripts (casting breakdowns) for the casting directors so that they actually have a comprehensive listing of what theyll be casting for film and television; thus the name Breakdown Services, Ltd.
Thats the agent side, but due to the online revolution, we now have an online version called Breakdown Express.
The side of Breakdown Express (www.breakdownservices.com) that works for actors is called Actors Access (www.actorsaccess.com), which enables actors to go in, create an account online and actually look at the breakdowns placed there by casting directors looking for actor submissions, so they can submit themselves directly for projects.
Actors Access and Breakdown Services go hand in hand. If you have a representative working with you, they are attached to your account so that your profile, picture and résumé all overlap. So if you change pictures in your account, you can also assign them to your representative so that they can use them also when submitting you for projects. If you update your résumé in Actors Access, it will automatically update for your representative.
And if you add something new to your profile, that will update for your them as well. And that's what you would want as an actor, because then your agent wont have to constantly call and ask for résumés and materials from you. You can do all this from your home and keep them updated.
Showfax (www.showfax.com was started by a separate company that we bought some years ago. Showfax would actually fax actors sides for their auditions. Casting directors would send the sides to Showfax employees, who would then fax them to actors that requested them. As did everything else, that also evolved into an online service as we took over the company. Now everything is done in pdf form so that sides can be downloaded.
Showfax is the part of the company that works for the actors. Actors can join for $68 per year. They have unlimited access to, not only the casting breakdowns, but also to the sides, and then anything they submit for on Actors Access is free with that subscription.
The agents then have their side of it, which is called Sides Express (www.sidesexpress.com). The agents are able to go in and download sides as well. So if you want to get your sides from your agent, he/she can go in and download the them and send them as a pdf file to you that you can print out at home from your computer.
And lastly, there is Extras Access (www.extesaccess.com) where casting directors that cast for extras in television and film will post for the types of talent they are looking for. Actors can go and find those projects and submit for them too.
If youre just starting out in the business, I think its good to do extra work even if it doesnt pay a lot of money. It will get you on some kind of a set. If you can get on a movie set, whether its a student film or whatever, you can actually see how the shots are set up and see how movies are made and what is expected of actors while they work. The more comfortable you are on those sets, the better off you are in the long run.
For more information about casting breakdowns and Breakdown Services Ltd. here.
And check out this link to actually see the casting breakdowns for roles that you might be right for.
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